Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


The verbal language as interface between external and internal reality
IL linguaggio verbale come interfaccia tra realtà esterna e realtà interna

A.Y. Credits
2016/2017 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Carmen Belacchi Wednesday from 10 to 11
Teaching in foreign languages
Course partially taught in a foreign language English
This course is taught partially in Italian and partially in a foreign language. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Clinical Psychology (LM-51)
Curriculum: COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims to provide students with theoretical and methodological knowledges regarding the language as a specific means of construction-sharing of mental representations and therefore as a mover of cognitive development. Neuro-biological bases of linguistic capcity and the main phases of language acquisition will be provided both at an oral and written level in typical and atypical individuals.  Monographic issue: the role of definitional competence, as metalinguistic ability allowing the reflection and explicitation of words'  meaning; the psychological factors implied in the definitional competence construction; A definitional scale for assessing the competence in defining words.


I. Introduction -  Origin and evolution of thelanguage and words. Methods and models for anlysis of the language. Main theories on the language development: Lexis, morphology and syntax. Spoken and written language in typical and atypical development  (h. 10)

II. Interpersonal and intrapsychical functions of the language: from the description of reality to construction and organization of thought and with reference to the language itself and also  to the construction of self-identity. (h. 10)

III Defining words: construction and analysis of meaning- Typologies of definitions- Definitional competences (from the first studies to more recent models)- Psychological factors implicated in defining competences- Development of defininitional competences in typical and atypical populations- The role of categorical and schematic representations on the Verbal Working Memory (h. 16)

Bridging Courses

There are not preview bridging course

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

As far as  learning achievements are corcerned,  the students

1.   should display the mastering of the fundamental knowledge, both theoretical and methdological, ranging from understanding basic disciplinary concepts  to abilities to use them in order to analyze and interpret language and communicative development according to different main scientific approaches to the discipline.

2.  should be able to critically compare, one with  the other, the more relevant theoterical models charaterizing communicative and linguistic development in typical and atypical populations .

3. in particular, should be able to use specific instrument for assessing definitional competence

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

- Supplementary material and research articles published in scientific Journals will be available on the moodle platform.

- Supplementary seminaries. 

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Front lessons


No compulsory attendance

Course books

- Belacchi C. e Benelli B. (2007), Il significato delle parole. La competenza definitoria nello sviluppo tipico e atipico, Il Mulino, Bologna (pp. 288)-book available in electronic format  on www.darwinbooks

- Denes G. (2009), Parlare con la testa. Le basi neurobiologiche e la struttura del linguaggio, Zanichelli, Bologna (pp. 205)-

- Supplementary research articles published in scientific Journals are available on the moodle platform.


Written exam with supplementary oral exam

The written exam consists in one open questions, aiming to verify the ability to master in a critical manner disciplinary theofretical concepts,  and in a series of multiple choice questions aiming to verify the learning of conceptual and terminological notions.

The supplementary oral exam compulsory for students receiving  a mark less than 27/30 is meant to complete the testing of the acquired competences.

Disability and Specific Learning Disorders (SLD)

Students who have registered their disability certification or SLD certification with the Inclusion and Right to Study Office can request to use conceptual maps (for keywords) during exams.

To this end, it is necessary to send the maps, two weeks before the exam date, to the course instructor, who will verify their compliance with the university guidelines and may request modifications.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students


There are no differences in Didactiis, Courses books, nor  in assessment for non-attending students 


The attendance is not mandatory

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